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That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger - Review

Monday, September 24, 2018


Where did I get it? Netgalley, thank you very much to Hachette Children's Group for allowing me to review it,

What's it about? It's about the aftermath of a school shooting. At the beginning of the book we meet Leeann, one of six survivors who were caught up in the massacre. Three years ago, Leeann was hiding in a bathroom stall with her best friend Sarah as the gunman roamed the school, and saw Sarah die. 

We meet each of Lee's co survivors. There's Denny, who is blind (and who has a gorgeous service dog Glitter, I loved her!), and who was pulled to safety by his friends who both died. There's Ashley, a fervent Christian who was disabled in the shooting and now uses a wheelchair. There's Eden, whose cousin was killed. There's Miles, who was described as the kind of boy to become a killer himself and who has problems that he keeps close, but who is one of the people Lee turns to when she needs help. There's Lee herself, living with her mum who works two jobs to keep them afloat, and who suffers from PTSD from the shooting. 

And then there's Kellie. She's no longer in their school, because the family was pretty much run out of town. This is because she said something about the shooting that no one believed - but Lee knows that her story is true, and she finally wants to right the wrong that she thinks was done to the story.

She sets about getting each of the survivors to write letters about their experiences and through that we get a totally rounded picture of what happened, as well as what happens to Leeann during her senior year of high school. 

What age range is it for? I'd say from 15+, because of the violence involved. 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yep. For one thing Leeann is asexual! I really liked this aspect of her and how it was handled - she was pretty secure in herself which I liked. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, Denny is black, one of the only black students in the school, I liked how he wrote about this 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Yes, both physically and mentally. I really liked how Lee's PTSD was portrayed, because it rang really true to me as someone who suffers from panic attacks. I thought all of the disabilities were portrayed very sensitively. 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? I don't think so? 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, obviously, and some of it is violent, so be careful if that triggers you. 

Are there swear words? A few, not many 

What criticisms do I have? Almost none, I really liked the book, I liked Leeann as a main character and I liked her fellow survivors. I feel like she could have talked to her mum more, but that's a really small part of the book. I thought the way it was written - through letters - was really well done. I haven't read anything else by Kody Keplinger but I definitely would

Would I recommend the book? Yes 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I was on holiday and was scrolling through my Kindle! 

What other books is it like? Hmm, I don't know, I'm not sure I can think of any 

How many stars? Eight of ten, I really liked it and thought it was an interesting look at what survivors of something traumatic go through. 



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